Coastal #57 is the product of the consolidation of three previous lodges: Asylum #57, Charity & Relief #72, and Pawcatuck #90.
Prior to the year 1819, all Masons residing in Stonington, Mystic and Pawcatuck were included in the jurisdiction of Widow’s Son’s Lodge #53 at Milltown (now North Stonington). During that year, Milltown lost its influence and Asylum #57 was chartered. It is of interest to note the first Tyler was Rhoda Palmer Hyde, who guarded the door so, her husband and brethren could meet on the second floor. Her dedication is memorialized in the Past Masters jewels of the Lodge. The Lodge met for a time in Stonington Borough, until local and state taxes became excessive, and moved to the current Grange Building in 1980.
Charity Lodge #68, granted a charter in 1825, first met in Gurton Bill’s Tavern, Groton. During the period 1846 to 1850, the Lodge went dark due to unwillingness on the part of the Brothers to move to Mystic. In 1850, the Lodge was reinstated and first met on the Stonington side and then Groton side of the Mystic River. Dissention arose among the Craft and in 1869 Relief Lodge #71 was formed and met on the Mystic side of the river. Charity lost their Lodge rooms due to fire and accepted the invitation of Relief Lodge to use their meeting rooms until new rooms were found. In 1891-1892 the two lodges agreed to unite and were renamed Charity and Relief Lodge #72.
In 1862, 24 Brothers from Stonington’s Asylum Lodge, who resided in or near Pawcatuck petitioned to establish a Lodge in Pawcatuck. Pawcatuck #90 was chartered in 1863 and for a period of time met in the Pawcatuck Hotel. As with the other lodges, fire resulted in loss of records and a move to new Lodge rooms. Pawcatuck shared space with Franklin #20 of Westerly at various locations, until building the current Temple in 1957.
It is interesting to note how fire, taxes and location have affected the history of these lodges.
The lighthouse in our logo is Latimer’s Reef Light, an example of 1870’s prefabricated, circular steel tower, which came to be known as “Spark Plug” lights due to their peculiar shape. It is fitting that this is the symbol of Coastal Lodge, with a beacon shining brightly to remind us to continually seek more light in Masonry.